Sevendust/ Jerry Cantrell Beef Casts Pall Over Canada's Edgefest

Nickelback, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Cake also perform at festival.

BARRIE, Ontario — With temperatures soaring into the 90s before the gates

even opened, it became all too clear that the annual Edgefest was

going to be a test of patience and endurance for both the fans and

performers.

With nowhere to hide from the scorching sun, the lethargic and

eclectic attendees slowly filled Molson Park, hoping for something to get their

minds off the heat. They didn't have to wait long.

When a planned 3:20 p.m. set by Sevendust was postponed due to a problem with

the band crossing Canada's border, Jerry Cantrell was asked to swap spots

with the metal quintet. The seemingly simple flip-flop of set

times ended up creating a rift that echoed throughout the large crowd for

the remainder of the day.

Taking the stage in blue jeans with black leather accents, a wallet chain

and a black T-shirt, Jerry Cantrell exuded the spirit of a carefree man

ready to share material from his former band Alice in Chains and his latest solo release,

Degradation Trip, with an early afternoon crowd.

For Cantrell, things got off to a good enough start, but quickly lapsed

into a series of frustrating mishaps. Opening with the thick, rolling

fuzz of "Them Bones," Cantrell performed a faithful version of the Alice in Chains hit. The tightly packed crowd around the stage chanted "Jerry, Jerry!" in response.

Things started to fall apart at the beginning of another

Alice in Chains classic, "Would?," in which Cantrell's guitar shorted out before

the deep opening bass groove even had a chance to finish. While an

apologetic Cantrell rushed to fix his equipment, he acknowledged his

chanting supporters by saying, "If you can bear with us, we'll try to get

through as much as we can for you."

Midway through "Right Turn," Cantrell was reunited with a working guitar

to close out a mellow rendition of the Sap EP track. After tripping on a

microphone cable moments before launching into his latest single, "Anger

Rising," it was clear that Cantrell was not happy with the direction of

his set.

"Anger Rising" would prove to be the last song in his abbreviated set

list, but not before Cantrell threw his guitar to the ground and left the

crowd with a disparaging remark toward Sevendust. Cantrell omitted the

"dust" in Sevendust and substituted a four-letter obscenity in letting the

crowd know who was up next.

Crossing the stage shirtless and in black, shiny pants, Sevendust frontman Lajon Witherspoon not only brought music from the quintet's latest

release, Animosity, to the Edgefest crowd, but didn't hide his animosity

toward Cantrell.

"When Jerry Cantrell says f--- Sevendust, I say f--- you, Jerry Cantrell,"

Witherspoon proclaimed before reiterating the message by saying, "I hope you heard me, Jerry Cantrell." With no love lost between the apparently now-feuding parties, Sevendust

ripped into an aggressive cut, "Waffle," before leaving the stage in an

equally disturbed fashion as Cantrell.

The festival's four stages proved to be too great of a distance apart for many to hike

more than once in the overwhelming heat. "I came here to see Jerry

Cantrell, and now that he's upset, that took a little bit of the fun out

of the experience for me," attendee Hal Sultani of Windsor,

Ontario, remarked.

The young, predominantly college-age crowd crossed the grounds of Molson

Park in everything from practical bathing suits to jeans and winter

stocking caps. Of course, many were draped in Canadian flags in

celebration of the national holiday, Canada Day. What little shade was available was immediately filled with exhausted fans who slept or drank as much water as they could at nearly four bucks a bottle.

Melissa Auf Der Maur rattled the second stage crowd with her Black

Sabbath tribute band, Hand of Doom, which churned out new takes on a slew of

tracks from the classic catalogue, including "Paranoid," "Sweet

Leaf" and "War Pigs." Sporting a near-transparent white outfit and a

Canadian flag as a cape, Auf Der Maur wished the intrigued crowd a "happy

Black Sabbath day every day this summer," before her exit.

Headliners Nickelback brought straight-ahead rock to a climax

after a mildly received Cake, with a tight, one-hour set that

pulled a wealth of material from their breakthrough album, Silver Side Up,

and maximized speaker wattage on the cuts "Too Bad" and crowd sing-along

"How You Remind Me." At the end of the day, though, the tired, somewhat

frustrated fans filed out of Molson Park just as quietly as they had

entered, hoping to find refuge in air-conditioned cars and to pull up a

seat at their kitchen sinks for a long night of drinking water.

For more sights and stories from concerts around the world, check out MTV News Tour Reports.